Víctor Erice, cult director, is recognized

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SAN SEBASTIÁN.— The San Sebastián Film Festival yesterday paid tribute to the Spanish director Víctor Erice, on a day in which the jury sat down to deliberate after the screening of the latest films in competition.

With only four feature films, Erice, 83, has become a cult director who yesterday received the Donostia Award, an honorary award from the city where he grew up and where he saw his first film, one about the detective Sherlock Holmes titled The Scarlet Claw.

The director's favorite actress, Ana Torrent, who has been in three of his four films, gave it to him at the Victoria Eugenia theater before the screening of his latest film, Close the eyes.

Here I am receiving” an award “with all the gratitude I am capable of, because like no other I have as my motto the name of the city to which I arrived when I was a few months old,” explained Erice, who was born in a small Basque town before moving to San Sebastián.

The Victoria Eugenia theater “is one of the cinemas of my childhood. "I see myself as a child, in one of those seats enjoying films that I will never forget," she added, also remembering that it was in this theater where she saw a film from the Festival for the first time. The nights of Cabiria, by Federico Fellini, who “was in one of those boxes wearing a white tuxedo. It was July 1957.”

It so happens that this year marks the 50th anniversary of the triumph of his debut film at the festival. The spirit of the hivewhich had a six-year-old Torrent among its protagonists and which was the first Golden Shell at the San Sebastián Festival for a Spanish film.

I want to thank Erice “for his loyalty, and of course for his gaze, a gaze that saw mine and gave me an interpretation of the world, which has accompanied me all my life,” Torrent said when presenting him with the award.

The Donostia Award comes to him after the disagreement he had in May with the Cannes Festival.

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